2019 Galway Festival day four tips – Race-by-race selections for day four at Ballybrit

It is day four of the Galway Festival on Thursday.

It is day four of the Galway Festival on Thursday.

Brian Healy takes a race-by-race look at the day four racecard at the Galway Festival where he has selections for all eight races.

The Galway Festival continues into a fourth day on Thursday, and following on from Wednesday’s Galway Plate it is the turn of the Galway Hurdle to take centre-stage on the card which also includes Grade Three and Listed action.

An eight-race card gets underway at 2.00 with both jumps and flat racing action on the card.

2:00 – Guinness Beginners Chase (5yo+) 2m6½f
2:35 – Guinness Open Gate Brewery Novice Chase (Grade 3) (4yo+) 2m2f
3:10 – Rockshore Handicap (4yo+) 1m½f
3:45 – Arthur Guinness Irish EBF Corrib Fillies Stakes (Listed Race) (3yo+) 7f
4:20 – Guinness Novice Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4½f
4:55 – Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap (Grade A) (4yo+) 2m
5:30 – Open Gate Pure Brew Handicap (3yo+ 55-70) 1m4f
5:59 – Guinness Time INH Flat Race (5-7yo) 2m2½f

On another competitive racecard, Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for day four of the Galway Festival.

2:00 – Guinness Beginners Chase (5yo+) 2m6½f

EARLY DOORS (5/6, Bet365) has already proven himself to be a useful hurdler, winning his first two starts over timber back in the 2017/18 season and chasing home Mengli Khan in that year’s Royal Bond Hurdle enroute to finishing third in the 2018 Martin Pipe Hurdle.

Joseph O’Brien’s charge had only three starts last term, but the Soldier Of Fortune gelding chased home Apple’s Jade in the Leopardstown Christmas Hurdle prior to winning the Martin Pipe Hurdle from Dallas Des Pictons at Cheltenham.

Now switched to chasing, the six-year old could take plenty of beating here if translating that very smart form to this discipline, and freshened up by a break he may be a different class to this field if proving as good over fences.

Joseph OBrien

Joseph OBrien can get day four of Galway off to a winning start

2:35 – Guinness Open Gate Brewery Novice Chase (Grade 3) (4yo+) 2m2f

ZERO TEN (11/4, Coral) bolted up here on Tuesday, and Emmett Mullins’ charge can quickly follow up.

The Shantou gelding went 4-5 in bumpers and over hurdles, with his sole defeat coming at Fairyhouse behind Dommage Pour Toi where he was denied by less than one length in a Grade Two contest. However he quickly bounced back with a win over the useful The Big Dog at Punchestown, scoring readily.

Following three months off, he switched to fences where he ran out a three lengths’ winner over Stormey here, and connections waste no time in turning him out again quickly and stepping him up in grade.

He wasn’t always fluent with his jumping in that first run, but he should be sharper with the experience and he can strike again quickly.

3:10 – Rockshore Handicap (4yo+) 1m½f

KOYBIG (17/2, Paddy Power) returned to winning ways at Killarney in July, and David Marnane’s charge is chanced to follow up here.

His last win prior to that success also came at Killarney, but he largely acquitted himself well in defeat in between those wins although there was a suspicion that the handicapper had him nailed down.

Following a three months’ break which saw him finish just two lengths’ third behind Hit The Silk, he ran out a winner over Minnie Haha latest, scoring by a neck. That runner-up has won since, and a 5lbs rise in the weights remains workable.

From a handy draw out of the number six stall he could make his presence felt, and for all this is a tougher assignment he can give another good account.

David Marnane

David Marnane and Koybig can get on the scoresheet at Galway

3:45 – Arthur Guinness Irish EBF Corrib Fillies Stakes (Listed Race) (3yo+) 7f

SURROUNDING (15/8, Coral) had a couple of these behind when winning the recent Grade Three Brownstown Stakes at Fairyhouse, and Mick Halford’s charge can double up here taking a slight ease back into Listed company.

The Lilbourne Lad mare struck by one length on that last occasion, gaining some just reward for a couple of in-the-frame efforts in the wake of winning a Naas Listed contest back in May.

She appeared to win a shade readily, racing prominently and travelling well before keeping on well for the score, and she could take plenty of beating here despite a 5lbs penalty which sees her give weight away all round so every chance she can follow up here.

4:20 – Guinness Novice Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4½f

DOCTOR DUFFY (13/8, William Hill) sets a decent standard for the others to aim at, and Charles Byrnes’ charge can get back to winning ways here.

The Craigsteel gelding showed a good level of ability in bumpers, scoring at Cork, and he returned from a break to win his first two spins over hurdles with scores at Killarney and Kilbeggan respectively prior to going down only narrowly behind the smart Peregrine Run at Cork latest to whom he was trying to give 10lbs.

That task proved beyond him and the winner won cosily, but he had in turn pulled clear of the third and he probably faces nothing of that calibre of opponent here so he could well prove a tough nut to crack in this contest given he remains with the potential for better still.

4:55 – Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap (Grade A) (4yo+) 2m

GARDENS OF BABYLON (11/1, Bet365) could be the one to side with in a competitive handicap hurdle contest, and Joseph O’Brien’s charge has reached a good level over timber already having won at Punchestown on his debut over timber.

He beat Surin on that occasion, and while that rival turned the tables next time the Camelot gelding went on to chase home Sir Erec next time before making the frame in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and finishing runner-up in a Grade Two contest at Fairyhouse before getting back on the winning trail at Punchestown in May where he ran out a six lengths’ winner over Notebook.

Third on the flat at Killarney, he should be spot on for this outing which sees him make his handicap debut, and an opening mark of 142 looks workable, while he also has the services of a good 5lbs claimer to help his cause.

First-time blinkers are also applied for this switch to handicapping, and while this is a competitive introduction it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him run well.

5:30 – Open Gate Pure Brew Handicap (3yo+ 55-70) 1m4f

Gavin Cromwell’s runners were in blistering form in July, and while they appear to have gone off the boil somewhat it could be worth siding with his GREENPANDA (12/1, Bet365) to get back to winning ways.

The Jeremy mare struck at Roscommon last September, and she has returned from eight months off the track with some good efforts in defeat which includes a pair of runner-up efforts the last twice at Ballinrobe where she has been beaten by less than one length each time.

She has sported a visor the last twice which seems to have elicited some improvement, and only 1lb higher in the weights here then she can give another good account if the headgear continues to have a positive effect.

Gavin Cromwell

Gavin Cromwell can saddle a day four winner at Galway

5:59 – Guinness Time INH Flat Race (5-7yo) 2m2½f

BALLYLIG (9/2, Ladbrokes) can make a winning return to action having finished third on his debut at Down Royal back in January behind the exciting Andy Dufresne, and John McConnell’s Winged Love gelding can get off the mark here.

That form looks very solid now, with the winner having a big reputation and the runner-up scoring twice since before contesting a Grae One bumper at Punchestown.

Although he was no match for the easy winner, he was less than one length behind the runner-up and there was some eight lengths back to the rest so he could well be a useful prospect in his own right. Open to improvement, he can build on the promise he showed in that first run and with Jamie Codd an eye-catching jockey booking then he could go close.


2:00 – EARLY DOORS (5/6, Bet365)
2:35 – ZERO TEN (11/4, Coral)
3:10 – KOYBIG (17/2, Paddy Power)
3:45 – SURROUNDING (15/8, Coral)
4:20 – DOCTOR DUFFY (13/8, William Hill)
4:55 – GARDENS OF BABYLON (11/1, Bet365)
5:30 – GREENPANDA (12/1, Bet365)
5:59 – BALLYLIG (9/2, Ladbrokes)